Your responsibilities

Understand your responsibilities for legionella control

Your site has a legal requirement to control the risk from legionella. Legionella control is therefore a vital aspect of water treatment on site and it is imperative that the risk from this bacteria is assessed and managed effectively. This page will  give you a clearer understanding of exactly what you and your company’s responsibilities are when it comes to legionella control.

  • Understand your responsibilities under Approved Code of Practice L8
  • Identify responsible persons in your organisation
  • Get advice on guidelines for your water systems
Training Academy

Approved Code of Practice L8 – your responsiblities

A full copy of Approved Code of Practice L8 (ACoP L8) is available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or an electronic version is available on the Health and Safety Executive website ­here . It is important that you always refer to ACoP L8 or a water treatment professional if you have any doubt regarding water treatment practices or your responsibilities.

Legionella control is a vital aspect of water treatment on site and it is imperative that the risk from Legionella bacteria is assessed and managed. Your site has a legal requirement to control the risk from Legionella and individuals could be held responsible if something goes wrong. The following should give you an idea of exactly what you and your company’s responsibilities are when it comes to Legionella control. We run training courses on legionella control if you feel that you require more information.

ACoP L8 is designed to protect staff, contractors, visitors and members of the public against Legionnaires disease. Legionella regulations are tied to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which requires companies to have access to competent health and safety advice; procedures for employees to follow in the case of a situation that could be potentially dangerous; implemented health and safety procedures where there are two or more employees in a workplace. It may be worth noting at this point that ACoP L8 makes specific reference to self-employed persons on site by suggesting that they are treated like employees with regards to Legionella legislation. Companies must carry out certain duties to actively control and manage the risk presented by legionella. These are as follows: • Identify and assess any sources of risk – this should be done by carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment.

•  Preparation of a procedure or scheme to control legionella
•  Continuous monitoring of identified sources to ensure the legionella risk is being monitored.
•  Keeping a record of all of the above in a logbook
•  Appointing a site manager or director as the Responsible Person for legionella control

A suitable and sufficient legionella risk assessment is required to identify and assess the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria from work activities and water systems on the premises, and any necessary precautionary measures. This is carried out by, or on behalf of, the Statutory Duty Holder. If a legionella outbreak occurs on your site and leads to a member of staff or the public become infected with Legionnaires Disease it could lead to legal action against your company. If it is found that the recommendations of ACoP L8 were not followed there is every chance a court will rule against you. It is vital to pay close attention to ACoP L8.

Responsible persons

The Responsible Person or persons on site are appointed by the Statutory Duty Holder as the individual or individuals responsible for the day-to-day control of Legionella. A Responsible Person should be a manager, director or have similar status, and have sufficient authority, competence and knowledge of the installation to ensure that all operational procedures are carried out in a timely and effective manner.

The Responsible Person should have a clear understanding of their duties and the overall health and safety management structure and policy in the organisation. Those who are appointed to carry out the control measures and strategies should be suitably informed, instructed and trained and their suitability assessed. They should be properly trained to a standard which ensures that tasks are carried out in a safe, technically competent manner and should receive regular refresher training. The Responsible Person or a deputy must be available to be contacted at all times. The Responsible Person on site should be the contact for the water treatment company.

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